Andrew Dawson (York University, Glendon Campus) and I have published the latest article from the Developing Conformity project in the British Journal of Sociology. The article is available to all via open access.
This paper examines the role of bilateral foreign aid in supporting the diffusion and enactment of common models and institutions of the rule of law among aid‐recipient low‐ and middle‐income countries. We ask whether aid targeted at security‐sector reform and the rule of law influences the adoption of constitutional and legal reforms over time (institutional diffusion), and whether aid also supports more effective implementation of the rule of law, writ large (legal reach). We use event history and fixed‐effects panel regression models to examine a sample of 154 countries between 1995 and 2013 to answer these questions. Our findings suggest that aid does increase the likelihood of adopting several rule of law reforms, but its effect on increasing the depth or quality of rule of law over time within countries is much less substantial. These findings suggest that though aid may play a role in supporting the diffusion of models contributing to state isomorphism among countries, it is less effective at increasing the pervasiveness and quality of such model’s implementation. This discrepancy between the effectiveness of bilateral aid in promoting law on the books versus law in action in aid recipient countries calls into question the current approach to rule of law reforms.
The first review of my book The Globalization of Foreign Aid: Developing Consensus has been published in the Canadian Journal of Development Studies by Brianna Scrimshaw Botchwey (University of Toronto). Really happy to see it! Read more here:
On May 15 & 16, the Katë Hamburger Kolleg Centre for Global Cooperation is hosting a workshop I have organized on foreign aid, norms, and the World Society.
Bringing together sociologists, political scientists, economists, and other development scholars studying foreign aid from an institutionalist perspective, the workshop is intended to be a starting point for discussion of how to better understand aid through a World Society lens (the focus of my Developing Conformity research project).
This article was recently accepted for publication in Social Science Research. In it, I explore the relationship between aid ties and other global ties to international actors. Complementing some of my earlier research on this subject, it shows that the more tied to world society a country is, the more donors will provide it bilateral aid.
Here is the abstract:
This article examines competing explanations for foreign aid allocation on the global level and argues for a new approach to understanding aid from an institutionalist perspective. Using network data on all official bilateral aid relationships between countries in the period from 1975 through 2006 and data on recipient country ties to world society, the article offers an alternative explanation for the allocation of global foreign aid. Fixed effects negative binomial regression models on a panel sample of 117 developing countries reveal that global ties to world society in the form of non-governmental memberships and treaty ratifications are strong determinants of the network centrality of recipient countries in the global foreign aid network. Countries with a higher level of adherence and connection to world society norms and organizations are shown to be the beneficiaries of an increased number of aid relationships with wealthy donor countries. The findings also suggest that prior explanations of aid allocation grounded in altruist or realist motivations are insufficient to account for the patterns of aid allocation seen globally in recent years.
The advance copy of my latest article has been published by Social Forces. Co-authored with Wes Longhofer from Emory University, this study examines the influence of countries’ shared organizational memberships in international NGOs and inter-governmental organizations on whether and how much foreign aid flows between a donor and recipient country over time. We find that countries with more shared ties have a higher likelihood of maintaining aid relationships, and that in the lowest-income countries more shared ties are associated with more aid.
Click below to access the article on the Social Forces site: